Ecodesign in the spirit of the circular economy (2015 – 2021)

The European Commission published its first Circular Economy Action Plan on 2 December 2015. Besides more efficient waste management, a central objective of the circular economy is better product design.


According to the Commission, “The circular economy starts at the very beginning of a product’s life cycle, i.e. with product design – smart product design helps to save raw materials, avoid inefficient waste management and offers new business opportunities”.

In the framework of the circular economy, the legislator has set the objective that manufacturers should take into account further aspects when designing products: in the future, particular emphasis will be put on designing products

  • to be durable;
  • so that their repair is feasible; and
  • so that at their end-of-life, ease of (dis)assembly ensures more efficient waste processing or, where appropriate, preparation for re-use.

Ecodesign regulation, already in line with the circular economy goals, has been reviewed under the Commission’s Ecodesign Working Plan 2016-19. As a result of the review, the framework directive has undergone significant modifications and the regulations for specific products have been continuously renewed since 1 March 2021.

More information on the 2021 and 2022 further amendments to the ecodesign legislation is available in a separate menu item.